The modern city-state with 3, 5 million inhabitants was
our stop over on the way back from Bali. We in vain looked for strange,
mysterious, exotic Singapore, which tells Summerset Maugham in his stories. But
instead of it we found skyscrapers, enormous Shopping malls, motorways and
gigantic blocks of flats, only dispersed by
beautiful, parks and some magnificent colonial buildings.
Along the Singapore River, in the heart of the city, you can find
our search to the Asian
Singapore we naturally visited
Chinatown, and/or the rest of it. True traditional Chinatown atmosphere
arises only in some small side streets. The "Jamae Mosque", as well as
the Hinduism "Sri Mariamman Temple" were the only exotic which we had
seen in this quarter.
Also in the Arab Street, the Islamic centre of Singapore was not more to see except the typical Sultan mosque.
Much more flair exists it Little India. Here we thought we are in the middle of an Indian city. Hinduism temples, small shops, restaurants and markets, smells as from thousands and one night and all this exposes to sound from typically Indian music.
An absolute must for us was naturally an attendance in the legendary Raffles hotel. In the Long bar we took the famous Singapore Sling and walked afterwards through the beautiful and very expensive hotel.
Our stroll over the most famous Shopping mile of the world, the Orchard Road, was a great experience. This variety of Grand Label Shops, Top designer boutiques, Shopping malls, Food centres, closed together, is really unique. Great Shopping is here the slogan and everyone goes on !!
Much more calmer is Sentosa Island, the imitated pleasure and holidays island before Singapore. We went there by Cable Car. Here you can find also the landmark of Singapore, “The Merlion”, an enormous sitting lion. The island offers each kind of entertainment, as well as beautiful imitated white beaches.
For us is Singapore not an Asian dream city, like Bangkok or Hong Kong, but rather a totally western, sterile large city without Flair. The price level is much more higher than in Germany and therefore shopping and going out is not the great pleasure. In addition we missed here the friendliness and the smile of humans. Perhaps we should not come here after our vacation on Bali, because the difference is really to big.
Links to journeys personal collection